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your skin, too. >> see what i look like in six weeks. on the broadcast tonight, chilling effect for the u.s. and russia after president obama abruptly cancels a summit with vladimir putin. tonight, what's behind the decision and what it means. moving on. a house of horrors where three women were held captive is torn down as one of the victims rises up to start a new life. pool safety. tonight the issue getting urgent new attention over those drain covers at the bottom of the pool. and must-see tv. more than 30 cameras capturing their every moves in one of the best new shows in black and white. "nightly news" begins now.
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good evening. i'm lester holt sitting in tonight for brian. while the cold war has been over for more than 20 years the growing chill of late between washington and moscow became downright frosty today as president obama called off his planned meeting with russia's vladimir putin. a response to russia's grant of asylum to admitted american spy edward snowden, but the split goes deeper than that and highlights the failure of the two most powerful men in the world to come to terms on dealing with everything from syria's brutal regime to arms control. meantime, the president is also speaking publicly for the first time about the terror warnings emanating from the arabian peninsula. chief white house correspondent chuck todd starts us off with more on all that. chuck? >> reporter: good evening, lester. both sides insist the cold war isn't back, but it is clear the relationship with the united states and russia is getting pretty icy. today's announcement that the president will not meet vladimir putin in moscow next month represents a new low in the
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combative back and forth over issues from trade to adoptions to syria and iran which has been building between the countries for months. it was russia's refusal to extradite nsa leaker edward snowden even after persistent appeals including a personal phone call from president obama to putin that was the last straw. the president showed frustration last night on "the tonight show". >> there have been times when they slip back into cold war thinking and a cold war mentality. what i consistently say to them and what i say to president putin is that's the past. >> reporter: mr. obama will still attend the g-20 economic summit taking place in st. petersburg, russia. he's snubbing putin in moscow. >> the relationship with russia doesn't have to get worse. it has to get better. we may be at a low point now. but i think it's time that we find ways to make it better. >> reporter: to say the two have no personal chemistry is an understatement. from the first time they met outside moscow after mr. obama took office to their june
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meeting in northern ireland when putin awkwardly rebuffed the president's attempt to lighten the mood. >> the president wants to relax me with his statement. >> reporter: the leaders couldn't be more different. putin, famously flamboyant in his many photo ops, and the president, buttoned down and measured. >> putin seems like an old school kgb guy. >> he headed up the kbg. >> that's what i mean. yeah. >> reporter: while russia is a long-term foreign policy challenge for the president, in the short term his focus is terrorism. he addressed the most recent threat for the first time with leno. >> how significant is the threat? >> well, it's significant enough that we are taking every precaution. >> reporter: lester, back to russia. today's move is somewhat symbolic. there is a lot of work with syria, north korea and iran that the united states have to deal with russia on. in fact, later this week in washington, secretaries kerry and hagel will meet with their counterparts which is where a lot of the work gets done. >> chuck todd at the white house tonight. thank you.
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it was both an end and a new beginning today in cleveland as the infamous house where three women were held in captivity for more than a decade was torn down. one of those women talked about a fresh start after losing so many years of her life. nbc's john yang is in cleveland for us tonight. john? >> reporter: good evening, lester. tearing down castro's house was part of the plea bargain. he signed over the deed as part of the deal. when the house came down today it was a very emotional event. in a little more than an hour workers tore down the home where three young women were held for 11 years. for amanda berry, michelle knight and gina dejesus, the memories of what happened inside may not be so easily erased. knight gave out yellow balloons saying they represent missing children who never were found. she released some into the sky.
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>> nobody was there for me when i was missing. i want people out there to know including the mothers that they can have strength. they can have hope. >> reporter: after the final wall fell, some neighbors prayed. knight spoke of her own faith saying she wants to be a messenger. >> i feel very liberated that people think of me as a hero and a role model. i would love to continue being that. >> reporter: since her rescue knight has chosen to speak publically at pivotal times. >> i'm doing just fine. >> reporter: last week, defiantly confronting her captor at his sentencing. >> from this moment on i will not let you define me or who i am. i spent 11 years in hell. now your hell is just beginning. >> reporter: the psychiatrist who testified last week today called her an inspiration. >> she is a survivor. she's feisty. she's taken enormous abuse and she has it in her to turn that around. >> reporter: a facebook page supporting her has thousands of likes.
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today the 32-year-old said she wants to be a voice for the missing. >> i go from here to becoming a motivational speaker and let everybody know that they are heard. that they have loved. and there is hope for everyone. >> reporter: the demolition was to have been paid for with $22,000 that the police found stashed in castro's washing machine. but the contractor said he'd do it for free. officials offered the money to the three women. the three women said, no, they want the money to go to the neighborhood. lester? >> john yang in cleveland tonight for us. thanks. a state of emergency in parts of missouri where days of heavy rain and flash flooding have left a 4-year-old boy and his mother dead. and have caused a lot of misery for many people in that region. weather channel meteorologist mike seidel is following up from waynesville, missouri, tonight. good evening. >> reporter: good evening. you can see the rushing waters
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of the rooub hooub roubidoux creek behind me. it's still over its banks. rainfall at two to three inches an hour led to dangerous flash flooding and destruction. heavy storms pounded parts of southern missouri overnight. nine inches of rain fell in a few hours causing massive flooding to homes and businesses and left hundreds without power. >> we were able to effect several rescues from rooftop of vehicles and people pinned to trees by the force of the flood. >> reporter: officials issued mandatory evacuation orders. governor nixon declared a state of emergency and has called in the national guard. after a 4-year-old boy was killed, the vehicle he was in swept away in a flash flood in waynesville. >> we could have problems all week long. i have lived here 40 years and this is the worst i have seen. >> reporter: central kansas is under a flood watch. swollen rivers swamped nearby homes and forced sections of state highways to be shut down. swift water rescue teams were
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called to northern georgia where fast-moving water tore through several counties, downing trees, washing away roads and prompting evacuations. at this hour, interstate 44, the major route between st. louis and springfield is shut down because of flooding. meanwhile, more heavy rain in the forecast into the weekend. flash flood watches continue. many are wondering if they will have to head to higher ground once again. lester? >> mike seidel, thanks. in prescott, arizona, where 19 firefighters were killed battling a massive wildfire this summer, one of the widows spoke out today claiming she and other families are not getting as much financial support from city officials as she thinks they deserve. many members of a granite mountain hot shot team were classified as part time. their work often seen as seasonal. that could mean a big difference in compensation for their families. nbc's miguel almaguer has the story from prescott.
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>> reporter: in front of the county courthouse today, julianne ashcraft went public. >> i stand here not just for me. there were 19 men that perished in the fire. >> reporter: the widow, mother of four, her husband andrew, one of 19 firefighters killed in the arnell hill fire. ashcraft said the city turned its back on the families left behind. >> these good employees of theirs that perished did everything they could for this city and the city is doing the bare minimum in return. >> reporter: in the days following the tragedy, the city pledged to help families of the fallen. >> we will be here to support you, to include you. >> reporter: but andrew ashcraft and 12 other hot shots were classified as temporary employees, fighting wildland fires as seasonal workers. an injustice, says the firefighters union. >> these are seasonal employees. they work full time. they work their full fire season. they take the full risk, but unfortunately their families do
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not receive the full protection. >> reporter: across the country more than 10,000 firefighters are classified as seasonal. in many cases they don't get full benefits or wouldn't qualify for a significant family payout should they die in the line of duty. in a statement, the city of prescott said it has been mistakenly suggested that the city made a promise it would somehow find a way to retroactively reclassify temporary employees as permanent. the city cannot do this legally. ashcraft and all the families will receive a payout of nearly $330,000. millions less than a full-time employee. >> to me it's not a matter of which of the 19 deserve benefits. they all do. >> reporter: tonight the firefight may be over but the battle over benefits has just begun. miguel almaguer, prescott, arizona. in texas today, the
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court-martial of the man charged in the massacre of 13 people at fort hood was put on hold until tomorrow. although army major nadal hasan is representing himself, there is a team of military lawyers to assist if he requests it. today one of those lawyers told the judge he believes hasan is trying to get the death penalty and he argued the legal team should not be required to take part in that. overseas authorities in yemen say they have foiled a plot by al qaeda to seize key port cities, blow up pipe lines, and disrupt the oil trade. concern about stepped-up al qaeda activity in yemen is reportedly behind the u.s. decision to evacuate most of its embassy personnel there and increase drone strikes, including another one today that left seven dead. in kenya today a massive fire tore through the nairobi airport, one of the largest aviation hubs in africa. it started small but with a shortage of equipment to fight it, the blaze soon roared out of control forcing the airport to close and dozens of flights to
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be cancelled. no apparent terrorist connection and, surprisingly, no serious injuries there. back home, former president george w. bush was released from a hospital in texas today. a day after a stent was inserted to open a clogged artery in his heart. the blockage was found during an annual physical the former president had on monday. he's said to be doing well and will resume a normal schedule tomorrow. still ahead tonight, we'll find out how brian is doing after a surgery so many americans are getting these days. but first, pool safety and the danger that may exist in many pools across the country. and later, an irresistible new show in black and white.
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we're back with an issue that's getting new attention tonight -- pool safety -- after an accident involving the son of a famous singer earlier this week. the child became trapped in the suction of the pool's drain. experts say that's a danger in many pools across the country. here's nbc's tom costello. >> reporter: it was a frantic call to atlanta 911. >> yes. i have -- my nephew was in the pool. and he -- he went and i couldn't get him. >> reporter: the 5-year-old son of pop star usher nearly drowned after being trapped by the family pool's drain. two contractors at the house saved the child. a chilling reminder of the serious risks a pool drain can pose. in minneapolis, 6-year-old
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abigail taylor died months after slipping in the baby pool and landing on the drain. the drain sucked out her intestines. >> you don't think about your child being disemboweled in 18 inches of water. >> reporter: in 2002 the 7-year-old granddaughter of former secretary of state james baker drowned after being pinned by a hot tub drain. without the proper cover the suction on a pool's drain is so strong a grown man can struggle to pull free a rubber ball. between 1999 and 2008, 11 children died in pool entrapments. five years ago a new national law required public pools to install new dome-shaped covers to prevent entrapment. since the law went into effect the federal government has no reports of anyone dying in a public pool entrapment. but the law doesn't cover private pools. 32 people, mostly kids, have suffered entrapment injuries. the prop? any drain cover can become brittle and loose in the sun and
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chlorine. the danger is if the cover comes off. >> right. then the toy goes in, the child wants to get his toy back and the suction can happen. that's when entrapment can happen. >> reporter: the warning to pool owners, update drain covers and check them seasonally. tom costello, nbc news, bethesda, maryland. >> an important warning there. when we come back, as the powerball jackpot soars, a look at where is your best chance to win. look at 'em.
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living on cloud nine with that u-verse wireless receiver.
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you see in my day, when my mom was repainting the house, you couldn't just set up a tv in the basement. i mean, come on! nope. we could only watch tv in the rooms that had a tv outlet. yeah if we wanted to watch tv someplace else, we'd have to go to my aunt sally's. have you ever sat on a plastic covered couch? [ kids cheering ] you're missing a good game over here. those kids wouldn't have lasted one day in our shoes. [ male announcer ] add a wireless receiver. call to get u-verse tv for just $19 a month with qualifying bundles. rethink possible. we have more tonight on an operation hundreds of thousands of americans undergo each year including the usual occupant of this chair. we are happy to report 24 hours after knee replacement surgery, brian was up and around today. there are rumors he made two laps around the nurses' station, taking the first test drive on his new titanium knee made necessary by a high school football injury 30 years ago. brian, if you're watching tonight -- and i have no doubt you are -- you will appreciate
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or sympathize with a fellow patient also hoping to return soon to a pain-free life. our chief medical editor dr. nancy snyderman has our report. >> which knee are we going to operate on today? >> the bad one. >> the bad one. >> reporter: it's early morning at new york's hospital for special surgery. dr. windsor is finishing his safety checks before bringing 54-year-old thomas apple into the o.r. >> feeling good. feeling nervous. feeling excited. >> reporter: tom is having total knee replacement surgery. doctors expose the knee and attach a metal plate and plastic to the tibia or shin bone where the cartilage used to be. then they cement a metal covering around the femur creating a smooth surface separating the bones. the numbers for total knee replacements are up in men and women, topping more than 645,000 cases a year. that's double the number of wrist, ankle, shoulder and hip replacements combined.
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like thomas apple, brian williams also suffered a painful knee injury playing high school sports. >> did you have to be talked into the operation or were you ready? >> every surgeon always said to me, "you'll know." i was hung up on taking out original equipment and putting in replacement parts. >> this is embedded in the bone. >> reporter: the good news is today's high tech parts are built to last. >> in the beginning days of total knee replacement we would say ten years and you're lucky, 15 is great. now we are beginning to see 20, 25, 30-year survivorship. the cost of the total knee replacement varies wildly depending on age, condition and where you live. from $23,000 up to $70,000. some of it covered by insurance, some not. >> i just want to see him happy. >> reporter: for tom apple and his wife, linda, there is no price tag on what they hope will be a pain-free future. dr. nancy snyderman, nbc news, new york. >> we have posted a lot more
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online including information on how to compare prices for the surgery on our website, there is this tonight about an innovative technique to keep the weeds away from the historic congressional cemetery in washington. a special grounds crew went on duty. for six days dozens of goats will munch on vines, weeds and poison ivy, eliminating the need for chemicals. it's worth pointing out they will also fertilize the place naturally. if you bought a ticket you know the powerball jackpot is tonight with a jackpot estimated at $425 million. if you are in it, where is your best chance of winning? well, of the 43 states that participate, pennsylvania has a history of being the luckiest with 16 winners. indiana is next with 11. at the bottom of the list with just three wins, new jersey. when we come back, candid camera. dozens trained on some of the
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cutest creatures you're likely to see.
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finally tonight, perhaps no other creature commands our fascination as much as the giant panda. we'll show you the latest pictures from china where these
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pandas have just woken up. they are the online stars of one of the best shows you will see in black and white. the launch of the giant panda channel. nbc's kate snow has a preview tonight. >> reporter: about a million people visit china every year to see their most famous residents. this is the hometown of the giant panda. if you can't afford to fly to the other side of the world, now there's this. a 24-hour panda cam. more than 30 cameras have been planted all over the research base of giant panda breeding, constantly capturing cuteness. pandas sleeping, pandas eating, pandas wrestling. >> they're cute. >> very cute. >> they are incredibly cute. >> reporter: last december wildlife conservationist sarah becksell showed us around the preservation at chengdu. >> they're adorable with the cheeks. >> round cheeks. >> big eyes. it makes them almost look like a human infant.
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i think that infantile appearance engenders us to want to protect, protect, protect. >> reporter: scientists here figured out how to breed pandas in captivity as quickly as possible. these cubs were 4 months old when we stopped by the nursery. >> you can touch. be. >> can i? hi. >> open. good boy. >> reporter: james ayala says he's impressed by how much the chinese put on display from facebook to youtube. panda cam is just the next logical step and an easy way to raise money for the program. >> will we pull pandas back from extinction? >> that's my hope. that's why i'm here. >> reporter: i am in heaven! pandas whenever i wrote. amy in galveston wrote on facebook. so go ahead. get your panda fix, but not when the boss is looking. kate snow, nbc news, new york. that's our broadcast for this wednesday night. thank you for being with us. i'm lester holt in for brian. we hope to see you right back here tomorrow evening.
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good night. >> i'm terry mcsweeney. raj and jessica are off tonight. the south bay is in a crisis. the concern is foster care. the consequence could mean a life full of disappointment. damian trujillo is at the department of social service who is working to recruit more d]í,. >> reporter: there are roughly 1100 children in foster care in santa clara county and two
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thirds are older than 12 years old. the numbers show an older child in foster care is on the fast track to fail. she comes to this park quite often. it's where jasmine barbosa thinks about the turmoil she was thrown into, 13 years old and the foster care system took her from her parents. >> it was a devastating moment. i had a bunch of emotion going through me. i didn't know what was happening. >> reporter: she bounced around from home to home. a teenager looking for a family who could love her and raise her. >> it was very odd to me. i was in a stranger's home. it wasn't even a friend's house. it was difficult. >> reporter: the santa clara county social services agency reports less than 10% of foster families will welcome an

NBC Nightly News
NBC August 7, 2013 5:30pm-6:01pm PDT

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TOPIC FREQUENCY Russia 10, Nbc 4, Moscow 4, New York 3, Washington 3, Us 3, Syria 3, Cleveland 3, Nbc News 2, Dr. Nancy Snyderman 2, The City 2, Ashcraft 2, Lester Holt 2, John Yang 2, Lester 2, Obama 2, United States 2, Prescott 2, China 2, Yemen 2
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